In 1610, the teenage Władysław was elected Tsar of Russia by the Seven Boyars, but did not assume the Muscovite throne due to his father's opposition and a popular uprising in Russia; he used the title of Grand Duke of Muscovy until 1634. The throne during this time was instead held by Michael Romanov.
Władysław managed to prevent the Commonwealth becoming embroiled in the bloody Thirty Years' War that ravaged western Europe during his reign, and was fairly successful in defending the Commonwealth from invasion. He supported religious tolerance and carried out military reforms. He failed, however, to realize his dreams of fame and conquest, or to reform and strengthen the Commonwealth.
His death marked the end of the Golden Age of the Commonwealth, as conflicts and tensions that Władysław had failed to resolve led in 1648 to the greatest of the Cossack uprisings—the Khmelnytsky Uprising—and to Swedish invasion ("The Deluge").
After the arrival of Grantville, Władysław IV began a new conflict with Russia. There was a "family feud" between his branch of the House of Vasa and that of Gustavus, as he felt that his father had been unfairly deposed from the Swedish throne, and that he was the rightful King of Sweden.
Władysław was known as a spendthrift and wastrel, more inclined to spend funds on his own pleasure than on improving town defenses and on the Polish Army, he spends most of his funds towards his own pleasure. When King Gustav offered a truce in early 1636, he rejected it.
|Regnal titles (OTL)|
Sigismund III Vasa
|King of Poland-Lithuania|
| Succeeded by|
John II Casimir Vasa